Gov. Bob McDonnell has announced that Virginia-based Smithfield Foods has reached what’s called a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) to explore pork trade possibilities in northern China with the Dandong Port Group.
Gov. Bob McDonnell has announced that Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, INC. has reached what’s called a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) to explore trade possibilities in northern China with the Dandong Port Group. McDonnell recently traveled to Japan, South Korea, and China in mid-May with the goal of expanding economic development and attract business partnerships with Virginia companies.
Based in the Liaoning Province (on the border of China and North Korea), Dandong owns various port and infrastructure assets throughout northern China. An MOU is formal agreement between parties that establishes future business ventures between the signatories. China is the world’s largest consumer of pork products, ingesting 49.4% of pork supplies in 2010. Their pork needs are only increasing. The U.S., in contrast, is the world’s largest pork exporter. That’s where Smithfield Foods comes in.
Located in Smithfield, VA, in the southern portion of Hampton Roads, Smithfield Foods is the world’s largest pork processor and producer.
“On behalf of Smithfield, I want to thank Governor McDonnell and his team for promoting Virginia agriculture during their recent trade mission to Asia and in previous international marketing missions,” said Joseph W. Luter IV, Executive Vice President of Smithfield Foods, Incorporated. “By making increased agricultural exports a priority of his economic development agenda, Governor McDonnell is expanding opportunities for the state’s top industry.”
Total agricultural exports from Virginia reached $2.24 billion in 2010, which was the second highest yearly total in history. China was the second largest export market for Virginia’s agricultural products, with shipments valued at nearly $195 million. Some, typically Democratic, delegates were incredulous as to the overall efficacy of McDonnell’s business trip to Asia last month.
Speaking of the newly minted agreement between the two companies, McDonnell says, “This strategic partnership will serve both companies in the future: Smithfield gains an important strategic ally in a rapidly developing region of China, and Dandong will serve as the regional hub for supplying the needs of this region as well as other countries in northeast Asia.”
He added, “As we work to market Virginia around the world, it is our goal that more deals like this one will be reached, leading to greater exports of high-quality Virginia products to growing markets.”
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